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Local Government Finances

Part of Opposition Day — [1st allotted day] – in the House of Commons at 9:49 pm on 8th December 2009.

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Photo of Barbara Follett Barbara Follett Minister of State (the East of England), Regional Affairs, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (the East of England), Department for Communities and Local Government 9:49 pm, 8th December 2009

I wish that I could say that this had been an interesting and wide-ranging examination-[Hon. Members: "It says here."] No, it does not say that here. I wish that I could say that this had been an interesting and wide-ranging examination of the local government finance settlement, but it has not. With one or two honourable exceptions, on both sides of the House, this has been just the sort of blustering, grandstanding, smug, "We know better than you and just wait until our side gets in" kind of exchange that puts most normal people off politics and, frankly, puts me off listening to you all.

When I wrote to the hon. Members for Meriden (Mrs. Spelman) and for Falmouth and Camborne (Julia Goldsworthy)-I did write to them, on 12 November-I pointed out that there was going to be an oral statement. The last time there were very few Members in the Chamber, and we regretted that there were so few. We would have liked to debate it, and you do get a chance to debate it in January, when you debate the financial settlement, so you have not lost the chance-

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